Frequently asked questions about UBC's participation in the pilot project for the federal Dimensions program.
What is EDI?
EDI stands for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Definitions established by the federal Dimensions program are outlined below:
- Equity: the removal of systematic barriers and biases enabling all individuals to have equal opportunities to access and benefit from the program;
- Diversity: differences in race, colour, place of origin, religion, immigrant and newcomer status, ethnic origin, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and age;
- Inclusion: the practice of ensuring that all individuals are valued and respected for their contributions and are equally supported.
Is Dimensions a research funding program?
Although Dimensions is an initiative led by the three major national research funding agencies (i.e., the Tri-Agencies), there is no research funding associated with it. Participation in the Dimensions pilot project is voluntary. By choosing to endorse the Dimensions charter, institutions such as UBC commit to adopting its principles throughout their practices and culture to achieve greater equity, diversity and inclusion. Institutional commitment is understood to reflect ongoing and productive engagement with their community.
How is Dimensions different from the UK’s Athena SWAN program?
The Athena SWAN program focuses on advancing the careers of women in sciences, technology, engineering, maths and medicine, in higher education and research fields in the United Kingdom. Building on this, Dimensions will seek to represent Canadian realities, including all disciplines, at both colleges and universities. In addition, the program intends to address obstacles and inequities faced by underrepresented and disadvantaged groups including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.
How long is the Dimensions pilot project?
The pilot is approximately two years, originally concluding in Fall 2021. Institutions participating in the pilot were announced in September 2019. Participating institutions are expected to submit a full application at the conclusion of the pilot for Dimensions recognition.
What is the purpose of the pilot?
The pilot is an opportunity for the initial cohort of 17 institutions to identify and address barriers and obstacles experienced by underrepresented and marginalized groups in their own research communities while helping to co-develop the final federal Dimensions program.
Which UBC offices or administrative units are leading UBC's participation in the Dimensions pilot?
UBC's Dimensions pilot project is managed by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation and the Equity and Inclusion Office.
What happens following the pilot?
At the conclusion of the pilot project, UBC will submit a full application to the Tri-Agencies for official recognition as a Dimensions institution, the nature of which is in development. Applications will be subject to peer-review and assessed using specific guidelines and criteria developed by the Tri-Agencies in collaboration with pilot-cohort institutions.
Can Dimensions help me integrate EDI into my research program?
Dimensions is about creating transformational change in UBC’s research culture by adopting sound EDI-informed analyses, policies and practices that improve the university's ability to attract and retain qualified researchers and other staff and students, strengthen research outputs, and increase overall excellence in research. It is anticipated that one of the outcomes of the UBC pilot project is the development of more formalized resources and services that will help enable researchers to integrate EDI practices into their work. For existing resources related to EDI in research, visit the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Resources webpage.
How can I get involved in UBC's Dimensions initiative?
To get involved, or learn more about the UBC Dimensions pilot project, please contact a member of the UBC Dimensions project team.